This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Wrap up warm - CMO
With some predicting a white Christmas and the cold winter weather well underway, Scotland's Chief Medical Officer is urging people to keep warm and avoid slips and falls on icy or snowy ground.
Dr Mac Armstrong also said that Scots should look out for their elderly relatives, friends and neighbours this winter.
Older people and those who suffer from chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable at this time of year. This problem can be made worse in times of severe weather.
There are five actions that people can do to ensure that they are safe and warm this winter.
- Ensure that at least one room in your home is well heated and if you are an older person, use your £200 winter fuel allowance
- Keep a supply of warm drinks such as soup and tea
- Wear warm clothing - lots of layers are best
- Don't go outside unless you really have to
- If you do go outside, wear warm clothing and sturdy footwear to prevent falling on icy roads and pavements
Dr Armstrong said:
"As the winter comes round, it makes sense to remind ourselves of things we could be doing to stave off illnesses that can be caused by bad weather and cold temperatures.
"By following a few simple rules we can help ourselves and others to fight off the effects of bad weather. Houses, or at least the rooms that you use most often, should be kept warm. Once those parts of the house are warm, try to stay in them as much as possible.
"Dressing for winter, with lots of layers, keeps the heat in better much better than wearing just one big jumper. Have a steady supply of hot tea or soup, perhaps keeping a flask of drinks with you.
"Go out only if it is necessary and when you do so, dress up warmly and wear good stout footwear. More people slip, fall and break bones at this time of year than any other. Well-soled shoes with a good grip can help reduce those accidents.
"Very importantly, if you live near an elderly friend or neighbour check up on them. Not only will they appreciate the company but a quick check to see that elderly relatives are all right will greatly help the care services over the Christmas period. Being a good neighbour could make the difference between a happy new year at home and an unwelcome stay in a hospital.
"Additionally for those who have elderly relatives or friends, make sure that they have been immunised against the flu. Flu can have serious repercussions at this time of year, possibly resulting in hospitalisation. Taking the flu vaccine will reduce the likelihood of this happening".